(updated from an earlier incomplete post…)
Delta will launch flights to a host of cities in Africa and Asia next year, as they cherry-pick opportunities for cities that will survive during an economic slowdown. Incredibly, they’ll offer one-stop service from Atlanta (through Cape Verde) to Luanda, Angola; Malabo, Equitorial Guinea; and Abuja, Nigeria. Seriously. I know that Malabo and Abuja have lots of oil-related business traffic, so there’s built-in business there (flights are only once or twice a week). JFK, meanwhile, gets a nonstop to Lagos, Nigeria. Fares aren’t cheap ($2,000), in case you were wondering.
Delta also announced it will serve JFK- Gothenberg, Sweden, and JFK – Zurich and JFK-Valencia, Spain, with a 757 beginning next June as well (which seems to encroach on Continental’s strategy of serving secondary European cities with 757s). Very clever.
Salt Lake City and New York will see new nonstops to Tokyo, and you’ll be able to continue on to Ho Chi Minh City with a daily nonstop. These flights should feed nicely to Northwest’s Tokyo hub and continuing service into Asia.
Delta’s pretty much gone all-in with these moves, building an international presence that will likely see little to no competition. Brilliant.